Wild Animus Hits Princeton!

Free, and apparently epicly terrible

Free, and apparently epicly terrible

Anyone noticed the shrink-wrapped box sets littering dorm hallways, mysteriously titled “Wild Animus”? We did, and our fancy was struck, so we decided to do a little digging. What are these bizarre boxes? How did they get here? And what do they want with us?

We took to the information superhighway in search of answers. Our first stop was an old blog post by a fellow truth-searcher, one Robert Nagle of the blog idiotprogrammer. It turns out Wild Animus’s author, Rich Shapero, made his fortune doing something with technology and decided to use his fortune to publish and give out free copies of his book.  Over time, he’s added CDs and other media to create a sort of immersive literary experience (an experience someone recently decided Princeton students needed to have).

But here’s the thing: apparently, the book sucks. Like, really sucks. Here’s a collection of reviews from around the web:

“Deficating [sic] onto a page does not count as writing a novel.” – anonymous, idiotprogrammer

“This is easily one of the worst books I have ever read.” – Patrick Burnett, amazon.com

Worst book ever.” – cade, goodreads.com

And, to be fair, a slightly more positive review:

I haven’t read the book yet, but the spoken word CD series is worth a listen to anyone interested in psychedelics or survival journeying or vision questing.” – Janto, idiotprogrammer

So there you have it. Apparently this thing has gone global, with people receiving and ignoring the book in Europe, North America, and possibly Asia. But since Princeton students have so much time for pleasure reading (and a vibrant psychedelic community), I’m sure “Wild Animus” is going to catch on here in Central Jersey. Or, you know, not.

(image source: http://www.richshapero.com/images/store_boxset.png)

23 thoughts on “Wild Animus Hits Princeton!

  • Getting free copies at ANU Canberra Australia, the folks that set up in Union Square had hundreds to hand out

  • I found a box set today at Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada. It was just lying there on the floor, near a recycling bin. Brought it home but I don’t think I’ll be reading it!

  • Book hit the University of British Columbia today. They were handing out “thousands” on the main mall.

  • They are being handed out on GWU in DC this week. The box set and the hardback are littering the campus.

    Somebody should ask this guy to pay to clean campuses up after the hits them with his vanity project.

  • Hit Emily Carr in BC this week as well. My friend said it was really weird, but I’ll actually read it over myself.

  • Bowdoin College too. People standing around asking student passersby if they wanted a “free adventure novel”.

  • Got a free copy @ McGill University, decided to look for reviews before reading it but so far doesn’t seem great

  • I was presented the book in some public place, maybe Chicago underground and read it out of desperation in 2005. It really was such a waste of time, I couldn’t even go completely through it… especially the soliloquies when he believed being a ram… but I was divorcing at the time, so I tought to myself that never again would I support a bad, mad, pernicious guy like Lindy was doing with Sam…

  • I just got a copy of his new book “The hope we seek” at Berklee in Boston. I don’t really read for fun, but I like the idea of someone trying to spread literacy and the arts by offering it for free, so I thought about reading it. I literally couldn’t get past the first paragraph. Like I said, I’m not much of a pleasure-reader anyway, but still, I usually manage to keep my focus for at least 25-35 pages. This lost me mid-first paragraph. Based on the reviews I’ve read of his other books, I’m thinking this won’t be the book to bring me back to the pleasure-reading world.

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